Category Archives: Rex Clementine
Rex Clementine, in Sunday Island, 2 February 2020, where the title is “Mendis on the verge of crucial milestone”
Young Kusal Mendis, who turned 25 today (Sunday) is on the brink of a crucial milestone. He is just five runs short to complete 3000 Test runs, a feat achieved by only 13 other Sri Lankans. He will also become the second youngest Sri Lankan to reach the milestone when England visit the island later next month. Mahela Jayawardene, who achieved the landmark at the age of 24 is the youngest and quickest Sri Lankan to get there (65 innings). If Kusal keeps his appetite for big runs like Mahela, there is little doubt that he would join the 10,000 club of which Mahela and Kumar Sangakkara are members.
Rex Clementine in Island, 4 January 2020, where the title is “Mathews Ready for Reversed Role”
When Angelo Mathews limped off the field in Indore with a hamstring injury during Sri Lanka’s tour of India in 2017, the recovery took months. At that point, the selectors made a call that in a bid to prolong his career, Mathews will only play as a batsman. But 18 months later, the decision has been reversed. Mathews was dropped from the T-20 squad in August 2018 and was told to get back to bowling in order to regain his place. Having fulfilled the requirement, the 32-year-old is back in India, the country where he won the admiration of adoring fans a decade ago.
Rex Clementine in Island, 3 January 2020,
The national cricket team has got a hectic schedule in 2020 where they will play nine Test matches, 12 ODIs and at least 16 T-20s. They will be playing more T-20s than the other two formats for the obvious reason that this year the World T-20 will be staged in Australia in late October. This is apart form the Asia Cup, also a T-20 tournament to be played in Pakistan.
ONE: Sri Lankan Squad leave for Pakistan with Prot
Sri Lanka’s depleted national cricket squad left for Pakistan on Tuesday expressing confidence in security promises by the hosts despite reports that the team could be targeted by militants. The Sri Lanka team were attacked in Lahore in 2009. Since then most international teams have refused to tour the South Asian country, leaving Pakistan to play nearly all their “home” games in the United Arab Emirates.
I was able to observe the Test Match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka at Galle during the first two days. This was initially from the first floor precincts of the Galle Cricket Club, where I was delighted to find my old friend Nick White from Australia seated amidst equally diehard cricket ‘tragics’ from abroad: one Kiwi, one Englander and one Irish-Brit in an arena that was sparsely peopled.
A saunter down the ground produced unexpected fortune. Eranga Jayawardena, a talented cameraman for Associated Press, greeted me warmly and immediately arranged for my entry to the Press Box. This spot was ‘heaven’: we were more or less behind the bowler’s arm at the pavilion end and there was tea around the corner if one so desired.
Rex Clementine, in Island, 2 July 2019, where the title is “Avishka goes past Kohli and Tendulkar as third youngest World Cup centurion”
Young batting sensation Avishka Fernando has made an impact with cameos against Australia and South Africa in the ICC Cricket World Cup from the moment he was given a break at the expense of Lahiru Thirimanne. On Monday, he converted a start against the West Indies into a match winning knock posting a less than run a ball century. Aravinda de Silva was 30 when he made a World Cup hundred while Sanath Jayasuriya was 33 and that makes Avishka’s achievement a remarkable one.
Sri Lanka’s Avishka Fernando plays a shot during the 2019 Cricket World Cup group stage match between Sri Lanka and West Indies at the Riverside Ground, in Chester-le-Street, northeast England, on July 1, 2019.
Sri Lanka was the first Associate nation to beat a Full Member of the ICC in World Cups when they overcame India in 1979. Duleep Mendis was their hero with a stunning 64 off 57 balls. He laments the lack of opportunities for Associate nations in the upcoming World Cup. ICC Cricket World Cups over the years have sprung quite a few surprises. There have been several instances of David overcoming Goliath at the sport’s showpiece event.
Sri Lanka overcame a star studded Indian side comprising Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar in 1979 and two years later they were granted Test status. Zimbabwe argued their case well in the 1992 edition when chicken farmer Eddo Brandes ran through England’s strong batting unit. A few months later they were granted Test status too. Bangladesh put up a grand show to beat eventual runners-up Pakistan in 1999 tournament and that was good enough reason for then ICC boss Jagmohan Dalmiya to grant them Test status.
Rex Clementine, in Sunday Island, 21 april 2019, with this title
This week, Sri Lanka Cricket announced their World Cup squad. Ironically, they had chosen Maundy Thursday to make the announcement. Maundy Thursday is an important day in the calendar for Christians as this day marks the betrayal of Jesus by two of his disciples – Judas Iscariot and Simon Peter. Judas openly betrayed his master while Peter, Jesus’ most trusted disciple, denied knowing him three times and later repented. Several Sri Lankan cricketers must have felt betrayed on Thursday by the very man who is supposed stand by them. Ashantha De Mel is his name. The Chairman of Selectors played both Judas and Peter at the same time. Like the latter, he still has an opportunity to rectify some of his errors.